Only 57% of independent businesses in UK make it to five year mark


Small Business Prices has analysed the best regions in the UK to start an independent business looking at metrics such as average survival rate and weekly spend per person. The campaign also reveals which independent businesses have the highest and lowest openings and closures. 

The best regions to start a business 

RankRegionNumber of Businesses5 Year Survival Rate (%)Average weekly expenditure per person (£)
1South East461,17064%£272
5North West304,39563%£213
  1. South East – The region is home to more than 470,000 businesses with an impressive five year survival rate of 64% making it the most prosperous region to set up shop in the UK.
  2. London – With over 560,000 businesses already – the highest in the UK, the capital is one of the best regions to start a business due to its competitive nature. London also has the fourth highest five year survival rate in the UK at 62% along with the average weekly expenditure per person at £250 per week.
  3. East – With 63% of businesses surviving until their fifth anniversary, the East has the third highest survival rate for businesses in the UK.
  4. Scotland – With an average weekly expenditure of £225 per person, Scotland is one of the UK’s best regions to start a business. It boasts the highest five year survival rate for businesses, with 65% of them making it to their fifth year.
  5. North West – Over 300,000 businesses are located in the North West, and 62% of businesses making it to their fifth year in the region.

Scotland and Wales show off the highest new business survival rate with 65% of shops making it to their fifth anniversary, whilst the East Midlands, North East and Yorkshire had the lowest rates at 60%.

The South East had the highest average weekly spend at £272 per person, whilst the West Midlands had the lowest at £198.

The businesses most likely to survive

Accommodation and petrol filling stations are the most likely to survive once opening, with 99% of them making it to their first year.

Accommodation businesses are mostly likely to survive in their third year, with 93% of them lasting. This is closely followed by petrol filling stations and entertainment businesses.

The fifth year is where businesses are largely affected, with some sectors almost reducing by half. Less than half (47%) of fashion shops will make it to their fifth year.

China and good shops are mostly affected with only 41% of them making it to their fifth year. 

Openings and closures

Businesses based in experiences and grooming had the highest number of openings, with over 800 barber shops opening in 2018.

Beauty salons, tobacconists and restaurants and bars all experienced growth in store openings, whilst banks, pubs and estate agents all experienced several closures.

To see more details about the best regions to start an independent business, visit’s tool here.